Encouraging participants to train each other


Tony Bray & Tessa Simpson Last Modified  23 August 2016

Find out about Learning ToolClicks

To access all of Learning ToolClicks you need to:

Background information
Encouraging participants to train each other is a useful tool when: 
  • people have, or can quickly acquire, knowledge about a topic
  • you have between 12 and 16 people in your group, so you can have three or four teams of four members each
  • participants have a reasonable level of personal confidence and experience
  • you have a reasonable amount of time available
  • you have plenty of working space.
  • Briefing notes for each specialist task
  • A quiet place for each team to work
Time needed
Allow 1 hour overall: 
  • 5 minutes to brief delegates for the task
  • 20 minutes for delegates to become 'expert' on their topic
  • 20 minutes for delegates to cross-training their colleagues
  • 15 minutes to review the outcomes.
Step 1 – Preparation
Find some specific tasks or concepts that would suit the sharing of new information among a team. Draw up full briefing notes and gather materials for each team. Find somewhere quiet for each group to work. Produce sufficient copies for everyone to have a copy of each team's briefing document.
Step 2 – Participants explore the material
Participants should work in teams of three or four. Each team has its own separate task or topic the As study one topic, the Bs another, and so on. The teams read your materials and/or share their experiences. They become 'experts' at the team topic or task. Every team member must make his or her own notes.
Step 3 – Participants train each other
Participants now form new teams, each having an 'ex-A', an 'ex-B', an 'ex-C', and so on. The 'expert' on topic A now trains their new colleagues, while 'ex-B' and 'ex-C' learn. Then rotate roles so that everyone takes turns as 'trainer' and 'trainee'. It ends when everyone has explored all the topics.
Step 4 – Review
Reform the whole group and ask how it went. How did participants get on with training each other? Look for any outstanding issues or concerns and address any that may arise.